[News] Palestine - Clashes break out in Bedouin village after Israeli police deliver demolition orders

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Oct 27 11:33:45 EDT 2016

  Clashes break out in Bedouin village after Israeli police deliver
  demolition orders

Oct. 27, 2016
NEGEV http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=773739

Clashes broke out on Wednesday between Israeli police and local youth in 
the Bedouin village of Bir Hadaj in Israel’s Negev desert, after Israeli 
police affixed demolition orders on some villagers’ homes.

Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces detained a number of people during 
the clashes, and that some Bir Hadaj residents were injured in the process.

They added that Israeli police issued demolition notices for homes 
belonging to the Abu Murayhil family ordering that the houses be 
demolished within 24 hours.

Locals said these houses had been demolished by Israeli authorities two 
weeks earlier <http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=773476>, and had 
been recently rebuilt with the help of the Higher Guidance Committee of 
Arab Residents in the Negev.

“Israel thinks that it will find a solution by using force,” Bir Hadaj 
local committee head Salama Abu Idesan said. “It is not accustomed to 
negotiate with citizens, but we confirm that we are willing to have a 
dialogue and will not leave our land.

”Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement on 
Wednesday that “a group of masked youth driving tractors threw rocks at 
Israeli forces and set tires on fire” when police came to issue the 
demolition notices.

Al-Samri added that Israeli forces then deployed “heavily” in the area 
and detained a number of youth suspected of carrying out these 
“extremely dangerous acts.

”Bir Hadaj is one of 35 Bedouin villages considered “unrecognized” by 
the Israeli state. According to ACRI, more than half of the 
approximately 160,000 Negev Bedouins reside in unrecognized villages.

While Bedouins of the Negev are Israeli citizens, the villages 
unrecognized by the government have faced relentless efforts by the 
Israeli authorities to expel them from their lands and transferring them 
to government-zoned townships in order to make room for Jewish Israeli 

Indigenous rights groups have pointed out that the transfer of the 
Bedouins into densely populated townships also removes them from their 
traditional semi-nomadic lifestyles which is dependent on access to a 
wide range of grazing land for their animals.

Former UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples James 
Anaya released a report on the treatment of the Bedouin in the Negev 
back in 2011, shortly before the Israeli cabinet approved plans to 
relocate some 30,000 Bedouins from 13 unrecognized villages to 
government-approved townships, reporting that Bedouins in the permanent 
townships "rank on the bottom of all social and economic indicators and 
suffer from the highest unemployment rates and income levels in Israel.

"The unrecognized Bedouin villages were established in the Negev soon 
after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war following the creation of the state of 
Israel. Many of the Bedouins were forcibly transferred to the village 
sites during the 17-year period when Palestinians inside Israel were 
governed under Israeli military law, which ended shortly before Israel's 
military takeover of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, 
in 1967.

Now more than 60 years later, the villages have yet to be recognized by 
Israel and live under constant threats of demolition and forcible removal.

The classification of their villages as “unrecognized” prevents Bedouins 
from developing or expanding their communities, as their villages are 
considered illegal by Israeli authorities.Israeli authorities have also 
refused to connect unrecognized Bedouin villages to the national water 
and electricity grids, while excluding the communities from access to 
health and educational services, and basic infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Israeli Jewish communities in the Negev continuously expand, 
with five new Jewish plans approved last year. According to an 
investigation undertaken by Israeli rights groups ACRI and Bimkom, two 
of the approved communities are located in areas where unrecognized 
Bedouin villages already exist.

The plan would see the displacement of at least 7,500 Bedouins from Bir 
Hadaj and Katamat, another unrecognized village.
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